Dump Truck and Van Crash: 17 Dead

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On March 25, 2024, a devastating collision in the southern Philippines, involving a dump truck loaded with sand and gravel, and a van, resulted in the death of at least 17 people. The crash took place on a vital road in Antipas, North Cotabato, Mindanao, and marks one of the most catastrophic traffic accidents in the region’s recent history.

The Antipas town police chief in Cotabato province, Captain Godofredo Tupas II, confirmed that three individuals were also injured in the incident. The crash happened around noon on a perilous segment of the road known for its safety hazards.

According to Captain Tupas, the 10-wheeler cargo truck was going down a slope when it experienced brake failure, leading to the collision with the passenger van.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Tupas revealed that nearly all the passengers in the van – 17 out of 18 – perished in the collision and the subsequent fire, including the driver. The lone survivor from the van is currently receiving medical treatment for the injuries sustained during the crash.

Rescue efforts to extract the victims from the wreckage were coordinated by the army, local police, and members of the community. Many victims suffered severe burns. The truck driver has been taken into custody pending further investigations and potential legal proceedings.

Witnesses reported that the van ignited after the crash, likely due to the severity of the impact. This further complicated the rescue and recovery operations.

Tupas underscored that fatal traffic accidents are unfortunately commonplace in the Philippines. Factors such as poor compliance with traffic laws, aging vehicles, and treacherous driving conditions, including lack of proper safety measures and barriers on mountainous and isolated roads, often contribute to such incidents.

Just recently, on February 21, 2024, 15 people lost their lives in the central Philippines when a truck they were riding in, headed to a livestock market on Negros Island, plummeted into a ravine.

In addition, in December 2023, at least 16 people were killed, and 12 were injured when a passenger bus failed to make a downhill turn in a mountainous village in the central Philippines and plunged into a steep ravine.

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